NEWS DESK WITHIN 48 hours, the Balearic government is to advance 54 of the 150 million euros it is due to pay to local town councils across the region, in order that projects which are already underway are not brought to a halt by the economic crisis.

Regional Economy Minister, Carles Manera, said yesterday that the government's releasing 36 percent of what it owes to the town councils will be like a “shot in the arm” for local authorities and small to medium-sized businesses at a time when getting hold of credit is extremely difficult.

Manera went on to confirm that on 20th March, Balearic President, Francesc Antich will be unveiling a “help” package designed to assist local government and industry confront the financial crisis. These measures will include increasing mortgage facilities for first-time buyers, not simply young people who are already eligible for funding a home of their own. President Antich, said Manera, will also be announcing support for families where unemployment has hit the major breadwinners. In addition, the Balearic Housing Institute will be buying new property to make subsidised homes available for those in crisis.